Rural Houses of Slovenia - Kavčnik Homestead
Date of issue: 12.11.2021
Author: Marko Prah
Motive: Rural Houses of Slovenia - Kavčnik Homestead
Printed by: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Printing Process and Layout: 4-colour offset in miniature sheet of 1 stamp
Paper: Tullis Russell Chancellor Litho PVA RMS GUM, 102 g/m2
Size: Stamp 42.60 x 29.82 mm; miniature sheet 70.00 x 60.00 mm
Perforation: Harrow 14 : 14
Life in the midst of fire and smoke
The Kavčnik Homestead in Zavodnje nad Šoštanjem, today a museum, represents the southernmost surviving example of an Alpine Rauchstube – an open-hearth living and sleeping room – in Europe. The Rauchstube (literally: smoke room), or dimnica as it is known in Slovene, was a type of dwelling with an open hearth and oven in which people cooked, lived and slept in a single room. It was not uncommon for domestic animals to live in the dimnica along with its human inhabitants. This type of dwelling survived until the end of the eighteenth century, when increasing concern for fire safety led to it being abandoned. Other rooms were added to dwellings and in many cases the dimnica gave way to a house with an open-hearth kitchen and a separate living space known as the hiša.
Houses of the dimnica type were found throughout the Alpine area and in central Slovenia, including among ethnic Germans, Hungarians and Croats. In Slovenia the last surviving examples of such houses were in the Pohorje and the mountains of the Kozjak range. The core of the present-day Kavčnik Homestead is a dimnica that is around 400 years old. The other parts were added later in successive rebuildings and the homestead was continuously occupied right up until 1981.
Today it has been renovated and converted into a museum, managed by Velenje Museum, and offers a remarkable insight into one of the oldest dwelling cultures that included the symbiosis of human inhabitants and domestic animals in a common space.